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Old 03-11-2013, 04:37 AM   #1
RyansDaddy
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Default My Review of Stainless Steel Tumbler systems.

Those of you who have seen post about brass cleaning, media tumblers have more than likely seen my response posts about the wonder that is Stainless Steel Media. Ok that is a bit over the top but having used vibrating tumblers that left primer pockets and flash holes untouched, Sonic cleaners that do a good job all around but still require follow up materials to be bought over and over like the Vibrating tumblers.

The Stainless Steel tumbler is a bit more expensive up front but the payoff is amazing. The only follow up buys are cheap, dish soap and Lemi-Shine and they run much less than a bottle of Sonic cleaner or the constant buying of lizard bedding and brasso.

I will admit I had to buy a supplemental 1 pound bag of SS media because my sifting process was casting allot on the floor. Since I fixed that issue over a year ago I have had no problems. Since the SS Media has an almost indefinite usage life it does not need to be replaced, unless like me you spill it all over.

If you process allot of brass, if you want to extend the life of your reloading equipment, and make culling brass easier you should look into a SS tumbling System.

There are a few on the market and I have looked at most of them. First I looked at the "Model B" from;

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.co...h-speed-7.html

And I almost jumped on it. Their prices were double what they are now the only thing that kept me looking was the "15 pound total weight" limit. That meant with the water and SS media I could only do 2 pounds of any kind of brass at once time. (235 9mm, 200 40 S&W, 156 .45 ACP, 146 5.56mm, 16 50. BMG, 84 .308, 76 30-06) That was just too low for the reloading I do. If I wanted to do more than 2 pounds I had to buy a while new tumbler system. The 40 pound system is 689.99 and it will do 2100 pistol brass at once. So I kept looking and on Youtube I found Bigg Dawg Tumblers:

http://www.biggdawgtumblers.com/7501.html

I started looking into Bigg Dawgs system reading reviews and after looking at it I bought one of the very first package deals Bruce Finnegan (the owner) put out and it cost me 479.00 So I was hoping I would not be upset with its ability to process brass in the numbers I would like to do on a normal basis.

A few things sold me on Mr. Finnegan's system;

First the amount of brass I could do per drum system. I bought the Large drum and with 22 pounds of Media I could do 20 pounds of brass.(2500 9mm cases,1800 40sw cases, 1400 45 ACP cases,1300 223/5.56 cases, 760 308 cases) I am only using 15 pounds of SS media so I only do a Max weight of 13 pounds (1521 9mm cases I do 1600 at a time,1300 40sw cases, 1014 45 ACP cases,975 223/5.56 cases I do 1100at a time, 546 308 cases at a time I do 600, 104 50 BMG, 494 30-06 cases I do 500 at a time because I am a rebel) but it is nice to know I have the flexibility to put in more brass and media if I wanted to without buying a whole new system. So with a full large drum of 20 pounds of brass (already more than the big 689.99 40 pound tumbler) 22 pounds of SS media, and 25 pounds of water it is a total combined weight of 67 pounds. That seem like a lot of weight but it is not when you look at allot of that is water you will be dumping out. But that was also why I went with 15 pounds of SS media and 13 pounds of brass. When I crunched the numbers on the 40 pound tumbler from the "StainlessSteeltumblingmedia" web site the numbers did not match up with what they were advertizing. It takes a total of 40 pounds of weight so after the 1.5 gallons of water 14.7 pounds, (it takes up to 3 .5 gallons of water I used lower water because with the 29.2 pounds of water at 3.5 gallons there was no weight room for brass) 10 pounds of Media, (it will use up to 15 pounds) and 20 pounds of brass it was at 44 pounds, 4 pounds over capacity, adding the extra 1.5 gallons of water brought the total weight to 59 pounds, 19 pounds over its max weight. That seemed like a motor waiting to be replaced to me. On average I am doing 56 pounds of total weight thatís 15 pounds of SS media, 25 pounds of water, and 16 pounds of brass( give or take).

Second, was the ability to start with a small drum if I was going to do just a little brass (each reloader is different in the amount of brass they process.) or in my case I bought the large drum knowing I could put less brass in rather than buy a larger drum down the line later. I have not regretted buying this system large drum system.

Lastly and maybe most importantly Mr. Finnegan hand makes every one of his systems and the workmanship is great and they are American made.

I encourage all of you reloaders who process large numbers of brass to do some home work, don't take my word about how well Bigg Dawg's systems work, and buy one.

I will send this challenge out to those of you reloading mix up your best batch in the vibrating and or sonic cleaners you use then send me a bag of your brass I will clean it and send it back to you for you to compare the differences.

Just so everyone knows I am not a paid representative of Mr. Finnegan's and I have no vested interest in Bigg Dawg tumblers This is my Personal review of this equipment.

I just have found a very good American Made Product that WORKS!
And donít get me started on the Harvey Deprimer.


http://www.harveydeprimer.com/

old military surplus 30-06




This is 2 batches of 9mm
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:44 PM   #2
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Great write up!!! I have the model B from Stainless... works great for me but obviously I don't process nearly as much as you do... I've loaded it up pretty well and have had to help get the motor started with just a little push, but no other issues.

I see why he's got agitators installed. Mine is rubber lined and grabs the media and cases while spinning. With just the PVC, the tube would spin but the media and cases would just sit there.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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never had a need to clean primer pockets
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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Looking at those big dawg units I am thinking I could make something like that for a whole hell of a lot cheaper.

Thanks for the review. This gives me the inspiration to try and make one.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EriccCartmann View Post
never had a need to clean primer pockets
After shooting 30 Carbine and 45-70 for so long I have had to clean allot of primer pockets and flash holes. I hated it now I don't have to do it at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reno911 View Post
Looking at those big dawg units I am thinking I could make something like that for a whole hell of a lot cheaper.

Thanks for the review. This gives me the inspiration to try and make one.
When I called Mr. Finnegan to ask a few more questions before I bought one of his systems he told me originally he built one for himself and gave the plans to friends or people that wanted them. Then people more and more often asked him if he would build it for them so Bigg Dawg Tumblers was born.

He just finished a duel drum tumbler for a Man who needs to clean brass for commercial resale. Very cool and it is still running off the same 1/4 HP motor.

Not everyone needs a huge tumbler, but like for my needs this is great.

Tomorrow I will be making a youtube video of the whole process start to finish. I will be going 500 .308 and 500 30-06. I will post it up here when it is done. A few folks have asked about material transfer (brass being rubbed off in the cleaning process) so I want to show what the water and residue looks like.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:14 PM   #6
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Great review!!!
Thanks for taking the time for the review.
I use the large STM system and it works. I use the large Dillon media separator to separate the stainless pins from the brass and wash off soap residue with garden hose as it spins. Tried others but it is the most heavy duty for large amounts of brass and pins and I seem to lose less of the stainless pins spinning it around.
These systems sure beat the dust that the other media create when separating them from the brass.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klinlv View Post
Great review!!!
Thanks for taking the time for the review.
I use the large STM system and it works. I use the large Dillon media separator to separate the stainless pins from the brass and wash off soap residue with garden hose as it spins. Tried others but it is the most heavy duty for large amounts of brass and pins and I seem to lose less of the stainless pins spinning it around.
These systems sure beat the dust that the other media create when separating them from the brass.
Thank you.

Here is what I made and I just sift it from side to side and done. I do admit that one of the rotating separators would be easier. But with this I have not lost any SS media. The hard part was finding this mesh with holes small enough to stop 9mm from falling though.

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Old 03-11-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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I have access to sheets of stainless wire mesh If any body wants some, it measures 11x35 inches, and is close to .030 thick with 1/4 inch diamond shaped holes.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:04 PM   #9
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This post sounds like a sales pitch. If it is, then I will lay off. But if is not, can I comment why I would never use SS media to clean Brass cases?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EriccCartmann View Post
This post sounds like a sales pitch. If it is, then I will lay off. But if is not, can I comment why I would never use SS media to clean Brass cases?
When I wrote it, I also thought to seemed like a sales pitch so I bounced it off one of the Moderators before I posted just to make sure that my review would not be received as a sales pitch.

SS is a great product better than any other cleaning media I have used and I have used the 2 other major ones.

I would like to hear why you would not use it.
Thats part of the idea of the review.
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